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SpoilerTV - TV Spoilers


Steven Universe - Adventures in Light Distortion - Review:

Steven Universe returns in 2017 with a gem packed 5 episode bomb.

1. Steven's Dream
2. Adventures in Light Distortion
3. Gem Heist
4. The Zoo
5. That will be All

Steven and Garnet rush to the Temple to tell the others that Greg has been abducted. During the funniest sequence of the episode, Pearl is about to faint when she hears Blue Diamond is on earth and Garnet tells Steven about Pink Diamond’s insidious zoo: a menagerie of humans in captivity created FIVE THOUSAND years ago. The Crystal Gems visit the Barn to board the Ruby ship that was left behind and save Greg from Blue Diamond.

Peridot continues to be the light and heart of the show, even when she only makes an appearance for a few minutes. She tries to tell them that they should probably change the configurations from the current Ruby presets but Steven rushes her because he can’t spare any more time. He turns down Connie and Peridot’s help and leaves them behind to protect Beach City while they’re gone.

As the earth fades into a tiny speck the ship encounters rock turbulences followed by the roaming Rubies they abandoned in space last season “We should really do something about them” Garnet sighs. When Pearl proudly announces that they should be reaching the zoo in 70 years, Steven rushes once again and activates the reality bending gravity engine. This is where the real magic of the episode begins and by magic I mean a series of playful and disturbing visuals.

Steven gets knocked out from the warp and wakes up to find the gems shrunk into Ruby sized forms. As we can all expect, Garnet remains calm, Pearl loses it and Amethyst has the time of her life. Steven tweaks the presets and sizes them up then way down into small bugs. He gives up and just spins the control touch panel like a slot machine. Their necks elongate then they flatten out like pancakes and then it gets even weirder. He accidentally overrides the calibration all together and everything is bathed in a red light as the gems get seemingly poofed and dangle behind Steven.

Steven tries to figure out what he did as the ship itself bends and the horizon in front of him turns into a bright purple wormhole (Star Wars hyperspace style). The visuals are so off-putting and stressful and that’s the point, Steven is panicking because he rushed them and made stupid mistakes. The screen looks like an old VHS tape and we can’t see things clearly anymore. As they approach the zoo he realises that unless they slow down they’ll crash into it. He tries to calm himself down by saying it will all be fine but he doesn't believe it. The wheezing sounds, the shaky camera feel, the colours and the music all produce the same effect of panic.

It’s really upsetting seeing Steven so desperate and helpless, as he’s crying and calling for Greg. It’s scenes like that these that remind you he’s still a 14-year-old kid. He manages to muster all his power and push himself to the control panel and thankfully everything reverts to normal, including the gems who had been stretched out so much they were lagging behind the ship. Garnet assures him it will be fine and that none of this was his fault. The episode ends with the ominous reveal of a giant crystal structure: Pink Diamond's zoo.

- It must have been so much fun animating this episode and getting to change the shapes and proportions of the crystal gems, the animation was so impressive and this whole episode was a testament to the talented group of artists and the rest of the crew
- Pearl's suspicious pause when she says she served homeworld makes me definitely think she was serving the elusive White Diamond
- Where is Lion when you need him to safely transfer you to another planet?

"Amethyst turn into a chair, I need to sit down"
- What does [Blue Diamond] even want him for? To eat him? To put him in a zoo?
- Wait that might be it...
"Hey Steven, this is a little really weird even for me."

Grade: 3.5/5
While I loved Adventures in Light Distortion, what I would have loved even more would be an episode about Peri, Lapis and Connie protecting Beach City while the Crystal Gems are gone. It was important to see Steven dealing with the decisions he made and the consequences of finding out more about Rose's past, so I can't say this was in any way unecessary.